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Archive for the ‘Public Libraries’ Category

It is a Small World in the IM World

Posted by lizzybee1002 on October 16, 2007

To be honest, I have been putting this assignment off for a long time because I have a strange schedule and have always been too early or too late for the hours that the libraries seem to have for the chat sessions. I did go to the great IM wiki that was provided and started going down the list, most of the international services were down so I went to the Montana Ask a Librarian link and they use QuestionPoint as their Chat Service.

I was hoping to get someone from the Montana Public Library System but instead I got Saima from the Houston Public Library System and the conversation is listed below. I asked general questions, how long they have had the service if she liked using chat, did the patrons like it, the usual questions.

The most amazing part was that she not only knew people from Dominican but she worked at the DePaul University Lincoln Park Library and that is where I completed my undergrad. We were both amazed that we managed to connect with each other and it really showed what a small world this place really is.

I had a great experience and Saima was so nice that I hope if I ever have any questions she can help me out again.


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Chat Script with the Houston Public Library

Posted by lizzybee1002 on October 16, 2007

Chat Session Transcript:
Chat Transcript: Hi- I am a LIS student at Dominican University from River Forest IL and I was hoping to talk with a librarian about the IM service you have. I only have a few questions and it shouldn’t take long.
[Librarian 10:40:18]: Librarian ‘Houston PL SK’ has joined the session.
[Librarian 10:41:14]: Hi Liz, this is Saima in Houston. I’m part of a national network of librarians that helps to answer questions for your library when they’re not available.
[Librarian 10:41:26]: I know several people who went to Dominican 🙂
[Librarian 10:41:34]: I am helping another patron at the moment…
[Librarian 10:41:43]: please go ahead and send your question.
[Liz B 10:41:59]: Oh Great! How long have you had IM?
[Librarian 10:42:45]: Liz we are not offering IM service at this point; only chat in terms of virtual reference.
[Liz B 10:43:18]: oh, okay. Do you find yourself helping people from around the country a lot?
[Librarian 10:43:35]: yes since we participate in QuestionPoint’s 24/7 cooperative.
[Librarian 10:43:55]: We also get people from other states and countries who use our service via our website…
[Librarian 10:44:10]: this is mainly for genealogy as well as Houston history purposes.
[Liz B 10:44:18]: How long has the chat service been active?
[Librarian 10:44:29]: about four years.
[Librarian 10:44:50]: we started with only about 15 hours per week then extended it to about 45 hours 2.5 years ago…
[Librarian 10:45:08]: we joined the 24/7 cooperative last December and started monitoring chats for other library systems in March.
[Liz B 10:45:12]: Do you find the extended times better?
[Librarian 10:45:34]: yes our patrons love the 24/7 access.
[Liz B 10:46:04]: What is length the average chat? 5 minutes or longer? Or does it depend on the question?
[Librarian 10:46:14]: by joining the cooperative, we only monitor 15-17 hours per week where we take chats from other library systems; the cooperative then provides coverage 24/7 including holidays!
[Librarian 10:46:43]: I think it really depends on the question. For example, my other chat was from a Houston Public patron about fines and it only lasted about 2 minutes.
[Librarian 10:46:52]: But in most cases, I would say between 5-10 minutes.
[Liz B 10:47:48]: Do you personally enjoy helping people via chat or do you like the face-to-face interaction better?
[Librarian 10:48:23]: I enjoy both but virtual reference is also very exciting and challenging.
[Liz B 10:48:42]: I can imagine!
[Liz B 10:48:55]: Thank you so much for your time, you have been so helpful!
[Librarian 10:50:10]: you’re welcome Liz. Anything else I can help you with today?
[Liz B 10:50:30]: Nope, that will do it. You have a great day! 🙂
[Librarian 10:50:36]: When I worked at DePaul University, I knew several people who were attending Dominican for their MLS.
[Librarian 10:50:54]: it used to be called something else at that time though.
[Librarian 10:51:17]: Thanks Liz and you too. Good luck with your MLS.
[Liz B 10:51:19]: I got my undergrad from DePaul! what a small world. It used to called Rosery College.
[Liz B 10:51:35]: Thanks 🙂
[Librarian 10:51:36]: yes that’s it. OMG that is so uncanny!
[Librarian 10:51:46]: did you go to the Lincoln Park campus?
[Librarian 10:51:50]: I loved DePaul.
[Librarian 10:52:14]: so did I. I worked at the library while in school.
[Liz B 10:52:22]: I did, I actually worked the circ desk in 99. It was the best experience!
[Librarian 10:52:49]: Wow that is way too weird. I was a circ supervisor until 1994!
[Liz B 10:53:33]: wow this is amazing!
[Librarian 10:53:58]: I still visit the LPC library whenever I go back to Chicago. Do you know if Kathryn De***** is still there?
[Liz B 10:55:21]: I think she’s still there but I can’t be too sure. A lot of people were coming and going when I was there.
[Librarian 10:55:36]: well it’s been a pleasure chatting with you.
[Librarian 10:55:44]: I must end our session now.
[Liz B 10:55:55]: Thanks so much again for your help, have a good day!
[Liz B 10:56:07]: Patron ended chat session.

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The Love of Dewey…Or Not…

Posted by lizzybee1002 on October 3, 2007

Melvil Dewey created the Dewey Classification System way back in 1877 and it seems to have worked for libraries ever since. But recently, the Maricopa Public Library in AZ has started to create a Deweyless library system. The system that they are using is used by booksellers around the world and seems to be working. Most patrons do not know the Dewey System and really a lot of librarians need to look at a reference breakdown to send the patron to the right area.
Dewey is viewed as antique and unable to meet the demand of the new users, the millinuem kids that use abbrivations to and tags to talk and write. (U NO WHA I MEAN?)
I feel that libraries need to do what’s best for the patron and if the community wants an easier way to search for books then maybe it’s time to go the way of the bookseller and set everything up in sections like a Borders or a Barnes and Noble.
I personally am a fan of the deweyless system and that’s because I never really liked learning it because I have no head for all the numbers. Just ask my 6th grade library teacher I got a D in that class because I never could figure out that the 800 section was literature…Well it’s around that number anyway. 😉

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